Exploring county’s hidden woodland

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The Woodland Trust is encouraging people to explore their nearest ‘undiscovered wood’ in the summer holidays, including Hathersage Woodlands near Bakewell.

The charity’s VisitWoods website contains information, comments and photos on 258 woods open to the public across Derbyshire and it is the woods with less information that the Trust is hoping people will seek out.

The VisitWoods website contains the largest online database of publicly accessible woods in the country and some of the woods the Trust is asking people to explore in Derbyshire include Hathersage Woodlands near Bakewell, Cobnar Wood near Dronfield and Sleetmoor Wood near Alfreton.

The charity wants to make it as easy as possible for everyone to visit woods by providing relevant information online, and is particularly looking to provide inspiration for families, people with disabilities and older people.

Gayle Wharton, VisitWoods Project Manager, said: “The beauty of VisitWoods.org.uk is that most of the information is added by people who have visited each individual wood. By adding photos and comments it informs others planning a visit of what to expect. We’re hoping people across Derbyshire will be keen to take up the challenge of exploring our ‘undiscovered woods’ to tell others about what they discover.”

As part of its work to create a healthy woodland culture the Trust believes that no person should live more than 500m from at least one area of accessible woodland of no less than 2 hectares in size, in addition, there should also be at least one area of accessible woodland of no less than 20 hectares within 4 km of people’s homes. Research compiled by the Trust has also highlighted the many positive physical and mental benefits provided by visiting woodland.

VisitWoods.org.uk has been made possible by funding of £1.2 million from Natural England’s Access to Nature scheme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

To find your nearest undiscovered wood go to VisitWoods.org.uk